three cheers for random

It took a bit of getting used to, but through some solid head-first-into-the-shark-tank style training, I’ve come to really love randomness. While my m.o. is usually to research and plan things to death, embracing the random has allowed me to appreciate new experiences for what they are, rather than what I thought they’d be. So how happy was I when a random adventure came up recently involving one of my favourite things : food.

Last week, I was privy to something pretty spectacular. It was a sunny Thursday afternoon and you could feel the highest hopes you’ve felt in a while. Not only because spring had arrived, but because 5 chefs were competing to represent Canada at what is considered to be the Olympics of the culinary world, the Bocuse d’Or. Named after celebrated chef Paul Bocuse, the biennial competition takes place in Lyon, France, where 24 chefs compete over two days. Each chef and assistant team has five and a half hours to prepare two presentations for the 24 judges of the same countries.

Thursday’s qualifying competition had each of the chefs preparing 4 dishes for the judges, which included Chef Lynn Crawford and food critic/author James Chatto. We stayed long enough to see a few of the plates come and they were simply beautiful. I could barely fathom creating that single plate in just over 5 hours, let alone three more. And let’s not even speak of the judges who would be tasting 20 dishes that day, plus 10 platters on day two. I feel bloated just thinking about it. Thursday night was followed by a media event with tasty snacks, wines and chefs ready to chat.

All in all, it was a great experience and I hope that Canada can find a way to support its competitor as strongly as some of the other, namely European, countries have. Food culture is being embraced around this great land of ours and hopefully our Bocuse d’Or competitors will benefit from that in the years to come.

And finally, a big thank you to It All Starts With Butter for the invite and wonderful company.

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